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 Post subject: # of livestock per acre
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 4:55 pm 
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I was wondering how many cows, goats and or horse you can raise by using organic, high-intensity, rotational grazing.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:26 pm 
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Boy, I would think that really depends on your land and your soil. I'm not sure how easily one could generalize. I see alot of pastures that have been so beat up by overgrazing and will take time to rehabilitate. These properties probably cannot support the levels that might be supported on healthy land with good grasses.

We visited with Jon Tagert in Grandview Tx (Burgundy Beef pasture raised beef). Seems like he had something like 1200 acres and 300 head of cattle. We visited Dominion Farms recently (in Denison). Don't remember the specifics but similarly he had multiple acres per head to raise pasture raised beef. Both do rotational grazing.

Marlyn


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:41 pm 
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Thanks. That is very helpful.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 1:29 am 
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I've heard 20 acres per animal unit to 1 acre per AU depending on the average annual rainfall and care with the rotations. The lower numbers depended on lots of paddocks to move into over the year. Lots is like 15 to 30. So if you had 3,000 acres, you might have 300 AU with 15 paddocks of about 200 acres each or 30 paddocks of 100 acres each. With the larger paddocks the animals stay longer.

The animals were kept herded on relatively small paddocks for a week or two to let the grass rest between grazings. There was a weeks worth of grass going in but they were real ready to move out on the last day.

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 Post subject: animals/acre
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 10:35 pm 
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Depends on location in US. Eastern Co - good year 1 cow/15 acres, bad year 1 cow/ 30 acres.
East Tx occassionly 1 cow / acre.
Depends on seize of animals. The above has to do with mutants - tall animals like to ones that go to feed lots that can't gain on grass but have to have grain to gain, but then they are unhealthy - no omega III's, no omega IV's and no CLA's.
Miniature cows 3 / acre on improved pasture and they produce more beef per acre than their larger cousins. They do this on on grass and they have ample omegaIII's. ample omegaIV's and ample CLA's
Let see what mini cows mean:
1. grass fed - very good
2. More beef / acre - very good
3. omega's and CLS's - very good
4. easy to care for cheaper fences and handling equipment
5. finish as choice most of time
6. most (Hereford and Angus) carry tenderness genes and marbling gene
7. sell for money than mutants
8. finish earlier that mutant - Angus at 18 to 20 months, Hereford at 20 to 22 months
9. taste better than mutants (the public has spoken - cows in the last 30 years are tough and taste bad and meat consumption has dropped for years).
MINIATURE COWS DO BETTER ON LESS LAND - NO BRAINER!!!!!!!!!!

Last option - buy hay, put out humates and trace minerals and build soil Later time you have excellant soil and can get the 3 cows per acre.
Robert D Bard


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:34 am 
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The info here and other posts has been very enlightening. I Pasted it on to my husband and uncle. In the next few years we will be getting into cattle. These "old" lines sound perfect.

Where would we be able to but some of these animals?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:01 pm 
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Okay, I should have recognized the question as coming from someone who was totally probing with very little background.

I suggest you or someone start reading and attending every meeting on ranching within 300 miles. Start that now to get a handle on what you're in for.

I'm usually very shy about linking to outside sources from Dirt Doctor, but I'm going to suggest a few and let you find them yourself.

Stockman Grass Farmer
ATTRA
Managing Wholes
Holistic Resource Management of Texas
Holistic Resource Management
Bud Williams stockmanship
Iowa Beef Center
"You Can Farm"
Basic Livestock Handling
Center for Grazinglands and Ranch Management
Purdue Pasture Management
"No Risk Ranching: Custom Grazing on Leased Land"
"Low Stress Methods for Moving and Herding Cattle on Pastures, Paddocks, and large Feedlot Pens"

And there is one website I will give you because it's too fantastic to believe without seeing it for yourself.

http://website.lineone.net/~s.ward/MIN/ ... attle.html

The picture at the top of the page shows sort of before and after of using cattle to reclaim a strip mine tailings. You can see the grass on the left with a pipeline separating the non-reclaimed area on the right. I've personally driven past those hills at least 100 times in my life as my cousins lived in that town. I can vouch for the fact that the hills have been completely barren since the 1950s when my cousins moved there. Weeds didn't even grow in the sterile dust. Now they are covered with grass. And this is without irrigation and in the dead center middle of the Arizona desert.

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 Post subject: acres and cows
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:12 pm 
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Two other sources is www.acresusa.com and Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin. I disagree with Joel's choice of out crossing his cows because as you out cross you develop other problems - taste, tenderness and fertility. It has and is being proved every day that small short legged cows produce better meat and healthier meat than their tall mutant cousins. Besides that, it has been proven time and time again that line bred and occasional in breeding keeps the best genes for taste, tenderness and healthfull meat - this is for all breeds. There is still one problem - many breeds have been mated with other breeds to get bigger animals - Angus to Holstein, Simmental to Angus (there is no black gene from the Simmental, Hereford to who only knows, etc, etc, etc)
Good luck and keep asking questions!
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: #of livestock per acre
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:32 pm 
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We have raised an occaisional calf for our own use. I called the county extension office to ask about number of beef per acre on native grasses (which we have yet to establish--where in the heck around the dfw area can you buy seed???) and was told it was not possible to raise even one on our two plus acres. So what is a mini cow? Where do we find one for sale?


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 Post subject: cows per acre
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:05 am 
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Two acres if restored will produce one cow with native grasses if you plant the right ones but it has to be managed very well. Actually you might find using bermuda grass (which is not native) and managing it in an organic way might prove easier. This would also mean using rye grass and/or wheat or oats in the winter time. There are inexpensive organic products that can be sprayed on pastures to increase trace minerals and natural fertilizers. You will still have to use hay part of the year when in drought, or winter. You can get around drought with irrigation if you have the resources to do this.
You can find native grasses by reading in Acres USA and Stockman Grass Farmer - both have web sites you can go to and get a subscription.
Miniature cows for beef come in two "flavors" Hereford and Low Line Angus, but there are not many for sale and they bring a premium. Right now you can't buy a Low Line Angus at any price and if you could you wouldn't want to eat him or her as you would want to breed them. I do have 3 hereford bulls available and I might let one go for steaks and hambergers instead of the breeding market.
Rember that county extension people are paid to report what Gov and Land Grant Colleges (supported by chemical companies) want you to know. It is your job to educate yourself.
Robert D Bard[/u][/i][/b]


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:39 pm 
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We are not quite ready for animals just yet but I am very interested in the low herefords. I am hoping to convince my husband and uncle that we can be sucessful with an organic beef production. If that is the case I will come to you for animals or advice. Is anyone selling the beef yet or are most of the animals used for breeding?

Also, we have 44 "virgin" acres that needs fence work to hold animals. Right now there is no water. How much water does each cow need?

Thanks Robert.

Pam

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 Post subject: live stock
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:30 pm 
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The two breeds are miniature low line Angus and miniature Herefords. There will be some mini low line angus meat available in nov or dec depending on grazing in the near future. Are you interested in a side (1/2) or some cuts of your choice?
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: water
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:35 pm 
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Pam: I forgot ? on water. It depends on the seize of the animal. Mini water demands are far less than big ones. Count on at least 10 gals per animal and you should be fine. Can you get community water or will you have to haul or build pool.
I have a saved e-mail from another moderator - Tony - on some things you need for a pond, if you are interested I need your e-mail.
Robert D Bard


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:43 pm 
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Sure pamzilla@krumvieda.com.

I think we are just going to have to dig a stock tank. Hauling 100 gallons of water a day is not a small chore.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:43 am 
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Here are some pictures and prices for miniature cattle. Hope you're sitting down.

http://www.minicattle.com/index.cfm?select=pandapics

Regarding a stock tank, be sure to check out other ponds dug by your dozer operator before you hire him. If you fence it off and siphon water out of it, it will last a whole lot longer, plus you will have no urine or manure in the water. Every step an animal takes at the water's edge makes the tank shallower. Eventually it fills with the mud and holds no water. If you run 1.5 inch PVC pipe under the dam when it's being built, you can put a riser in the water and a faucet at the back side and collect water without the animals needing to get into it. Then fence off the pond leaving room to fish it. Leave a tree trunk in the pond for fish to breed under and stock it with at least two grass carp to keep the weeds out. Deeper is better than wider. Finally plant some sort of a dense, sod-forming grass around the tank and in the spillway to keep the sides from washing out when it floods. If tall fescue grows in your area, then use that.

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